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What’s the Deal With That Inverted Yield Curve? A Sports Analogy Might Help

Westlake Legal Group yield-curve-3d-embed-1565821381400-facebookJumbo What’s the Deal With That Inverted Yield Curve? A Sports Analogy Might Help United States Economy Recession and Depression Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Interest Rates gambling football

The financial world has been atwitter about the inversion of the yield curve. It is a phenomenon in the bond market in which longer-term interest rates fall below shorter-term interest rates, and has historically been a warning sign that a recession could be on the way.

This all seems obvious to people who are steeped in bond market math and the workings of fixed-income markets, and can be completely perplexing to those who are not.

Maybe a sports gambling analogy will make the intuition clearer.

Any adult can walk into a casino and bet on how an N.F.L. team will do this year. For example, bettors once again expect the New England Patriots to be an excellent team — that they are likely to win 11 or 12 out of their 16 games. Casinos will let you wager on how many games they will win this season.

But what if casinos not only would let you bet on how a team will do this year, but how they will perform over the next, 2, 5, 10 or even 30 years? What would you pay for a betting slip that promises, say, a $10 payout for every Patriots regular season win in the next decade?

And what if you could then sell that slip to other gamblers, with its price rising and falling as bettors’ views on the outlook for the Patriots changes? Essentially, you could take the price that people are paying for those slips with different durations, and, with some simple math, figure out how many games bettors expect the team to win each year in the future.

That’s kind of what the bond market does with interest rates. Bonds that mature at different times are always trading on global markets, and with some fairly simple math you can figure out what the price of different bonds implies about how interest rates are expected to change over the coming years.

Interest rates are closely connected to the rate of economic growth and inflation. In boom times, lots of people want to borrow money, to expand their businesses, say, or buy houses. And the Federal Reserve will raise the interest rate that it controls in order to prevent the economy from overheating, resulting in inflation. When a slowdown comes, the process works in reverse.

If you buy, say, a 90-day Treasury bill, you are likely to receive an interest rate that is closely tied to whatever the Federal Reserve has currently set as its main target for interest rates in the banking system and any changes the Fed might make in the near future.

It’s like betting on next week’s game: We know a lot about what opponent your team is facing, how well they’ve been playing, whether there are injuries that are likely to affect the outcome.

But if you buy a 10-year Treasury note, you’re making a bet on the more distant future. The economy will probably change a lot over the next decade. You can’t predict exactly what will happen, but you are betting on the general direction of things: Do you expect the economy to heat up, creating inflation pressures and causing the Fed to raise rates? Or do you expect it cool down?

So purchase of a longer-term Treasury bond is like making one of those long-term bets with a casino on how a team will perform for many years to come. You have no idea what the details are of which players they will sign or who will be coaching the team. You are betting on the general direction.

How might that bet might look with two different teams?

The Arizona Cardinals were terrible last year, and most bettors expect them to be pretty bad this year as well: Vegas odds suggest they will only win five or six games. But they have drafted an exciting young quarterback (Kyler Murray) and hired a new coach.

Even if you’re not a believer in the Cardinals for this season, you could reasonably expect that they will get better in the coming years — that their future is better than their present. If most bettors believed that, you could tell that from the difference between the price of a 10-year Cardinals betting contract and a one-year Cardinals betting contract — it might reveal, for example, that the team is expected to go from winning 5 games this year to 9 games two or three years from now.

Or consider the Patriots. They have been the best team in the game for the past two decades, but their quarterback, Tom Brady, is 42 years old, and their coach, Bill Belichick, is 67. It would be reasonable to expect the team to decline over the next decade after these stars retire.

The prices of the Patriots one-year contract, in other words, would probably reflect greater optimism than their 10-year contract.

Essentially, the relative prices of those short-term versus long-term betting contracts would tell you whether a team is viewed as likely to be on the upswing or the downswing — not necessarily today but at some point in the next few years.

That’s exactly what the yield curve is doing: It is telling us the difference between shorter-term and longer-term interest rates, and hence whether investors expect the economy to get better or worse in the years ahead. Our fictional Patriots yield curve is inverted, and so is the actual United States Treasury bond yield curve.

[Here’s more about the yield curve and the 3-D rendering that appears with this article.]

The moves in the bond market over the last nine months and especially the last couple of weeks are the equivalent of what would happen if Mr. Brady and Mr. Belichick both announced that this would be their last season before retiring. The current outlook remains stable, but the outlook for the coming decade has gotten worse.

Longer-term rates below shorter term rates are a clear signal from bond investors that they think the United States economy is on the downswing — that its future looks worse than its present.

It’s the opposite of times like 2009, when the economy was in recession and the yield curve pointed to future improvement. At those moments, the United States more resembled the Cardinals, a bad team but with room to improve in the coming years and (potentially) the tools to do it.

The good news is that this is merely the best guess of investors with trillions of dollars on the line. It could be wrong. Maybe the Patriots will pluck another Brady-esque quarterback in the draft, Mr. Belichick will coach until he is 80, and the team will remain a perennial Super Bowl contender. Market prices can be wrong!

And similarly, maybe the negative signals about the global economy will turn out to be overdone, and the United States economy will continue improving despite what the yield curve is suggesting now.

A lot of surprising things can happen in one N.F.L. season, let alone across years of them. That’s even more true for the global economy.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Here’s what it’s really like to be recruited as a college athlete in NoVA

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-93 Here’s what it’s really like to be recruited as a college athlete in NoVA the st. james Students Sports soccer scholarship recruitment recruiting Lacrosse high school athlete football family life Family Culture Features athletics athletes
24/7 Soccer: Matthew Allen, a rising senior at Madison High School in Vienna, trains and practices before and after school, and on the weekends, in the hopes of earning a spot on a college soccer team. (Photo by Jonathan Timmes)

Matthew Allen, a 17-year-old rising senior at James Madison High School in Vienna, has been playing soccer since he was 5 years old. He has been dreaming of playing in college since eighth grade.

“Soccer takes up the majority of what I think about when I’m not in school,” Matthew says. “I love doing it so much that not playing in college wouldn’t feel right to me.”

To secure his spot on a college team, Matthew and his father, Mike Allen, are doing everything they can to help Matthew rise above the thousands of other high school soccer players hoping to get recruited by college coaches. For instance, after playing on his high school junior varsity team, Matthew decided not to pursue a spot on the varsity soccer team to focus exclusively on travel soccer and tournaments where college coaches can see him play. Although his father has never officially tallied up the investment the family has made in Matthew’s soccer career, a quick calculation shows a price tag easily in excess of $30,000, which includes travel team fees and other practice-related budget items.

In addition to the financial outlay, Matthew also keeps a grueling schedule. There’s attending classes and doing homework, of course, but he also lifts weights for an hour on Mondays and then attends a two-hour training session. On Tuesdays, he has a 90-minute club team practice; Wednesdays he does an hour of strength conditioning and then takes an hour-long ACT prep class that begins at 9 p.m.; Thursdays is another 90-minute club team practice; Fridays are slightly less intense with only 30 minutes of weight lifting, and Sunday is game day. His only free day is Saturday, when he typically sleeps in and spends time with his friends and girlfriend.

This doesn’t account for the days Matthew and his father travel to soccer tournaments or the time that he spends emailing coaches or visiting colleges to meet with coaches. “There are days when I wake up and don’t want to go to whatever I have that day,” he admits. “But I power through it and I feel accomplished that I had the mental strength to get through it and I made the best of it.”

An unrelenting schedule and tens of thousands of dollars spent on sports may sound like a lot to the uninitiated, but for the families of high school athletes in Northern Virginia, this picture is fairly par for the course. Over the years, high school sports have become less about getting a letter jacket and more about scoring a coveted spot on an elite college team. But with minimal spots available at top-tier schools, the pressure has also slowly ratcheted up—schedules like Matthew’s are not uncommon—and it’s left some parents, students and even mental health professionals cautioning that it may not be worth it.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-65 Here’s what it’s really like to be recruited as a college athlete in NoVA the st. james Students Sports soccer scholarship recruitment recruiting Lacrosse high school athlete football family life Family Culture Features athletics athletes
Recently opened, The St. James has become a popular training facility for serious high school athletes. (Photo courtesy of The St. James)
The Competition is Fierce

Getting recruited to play on a college team is highly competitive, especially for a sport such as soccer where most coaches only recruit six or eight new players each year, says Douglas Homer, director of soccer at The St. James, a high-performance training center in Springfield, where Matthew trains. In fact, local residents and co-founders Kendrick Ashton and Craig Dixon built The St. James because they recognized that the DC market lacked a comprehensive training facility for elite sports. “We live in a very expensive and educated market,” Homer adds.

College recruiting used to be limited by the team’s budget and how far the coaches were willing to drive to see players. Now, coaches can cast a wider net because technology allows them to view videos of student athletes across the county and even overseas through recruiting websites, such as GotSoccer and Next College Student Athlete. It’s not unusual for coaches to talk with 500 or more potential players, Homer says. “Technology has changed the playing field for the coach and the student athlete,” he says. “Sometimes your kid is competing with someone who doesn’t even live in the United States.”

Competition off the field is tough, too. Being a great athlete is not enough to make the team; you also have to be a great student. College coaches typically only consider student-athletes with strong GPAs. “Coaches want to make sure you can get into their school, stay in their school and make good enough grades to be able to play on their team,” Matthew says.

“Parents always ask coaches what their kids can do to prepare for college soccer and every coach has said, ‘Get your grades up,’” Mike says. “None of them has suggested students work on passing or shooting.”

Yet, high school athletes still need to hone their athletic skills if they want to play on a college team. “The reality is not everyone is going to be a college prospect,” Homer says. “We want people to reach their potential but we have to be honest. You might see yourself as a Duke basketball player but perhaps you are more mid-major Division I or DII.” Getting to that higher level of competition often means spending all your free time practicing, including skills training, conditioning and refining your mental skills and coping skills. “If you’re not willing to do those things every single day, someone else is doing that and taking your spot,” Homer says.

As intense as Matthew’s schedule is, the reality is he’s likely competing with students who have made athletic training the focus of their daily schedule, Homer says. For many elite sports, including soccer, it’s becoming the norm for students to spend eight hours a day practicing, playing in matches and traveling. Before joining The St. James staff, Homer worked at a private school where students began their day with a soccer training session, studied for four hours and then finished the afternoon with another training session. This type of schedule is becoming increasingly common for swimmers, golfers and squash players, and many are home-schooled to allow them to train most of the day and still keep their grades up, says Alister Walker, a highly ranked professional squash player and director of squash at The St. James.

Scholarships Aren’t the Main Motivator

For many students, including Matthew, their goal isn’t to get a scholarship; it’s simply to get on a college team. In fact, with the exception of a few blockbuster players in high-profile sports, a full-ride sports scholarship isn’t generally a possibility. For Matthew, who is looking at joining a DIII team, there is no possibility of scholarship money. However, the rewards of playing on a college team aren’t monetary. “At every school we’re looking at there is tight bond amongst the players,” Mike says. “Then you think about the alumni, [and playing a college sport] becomes an alumni network for jobs. For me, as a parent, knowing there is that immediate network to help these kids, there’s a real benefit to that.”

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-26 Here’s what it’s really like to be recruited as a college athlete in NoVA the st. james Students Sports soccer scholarship recruitment recruiting Lacrosse high school athlete football family life Family Culture Features athletics athletes
A College-Level Commitment: Madison Kercher, who recently graduated from Herndon High School, was originally recruited by Arizona State University, but she later decided to stay closer to home. She’ll play lacross for Rutgers University in New Jersey this fall. (Photo by Jonathan Timmes)

Madison Kercher, 18, a recent graduate of Herndon High School, wasn’t looking for a full scholarship; she just wanted to play college lacrosse. In fact, she was so excited about the idea of playing in college that she verbally committed to play lacrosse for Arizona State University in February 2016, when she was only 15. Madison admits she felt pressure to join a college team because most of her teammates on her travel team, Capital Lacrosse, had already signed letters of intent and she worried that she wouldn’t get a spot on a DI team if she didn’t commit to a college the fall of her sophomore year. “I felt like I had to get it done,” she says.

Nearly two years later, when Kercher went on her official visit to ASU in September 2018, she began to have second thoughts because it was so far from home. Two days after her visit, she severed her relationship with the team and asked the Capital Lacrosse recruiting coach to help her find another college team to join, knowing there was a good chance she wouldn’t get a position on a Division I team. “Players are a commodity to these coaches, and there is no shortage of people who want to play in college,” observes her father, Tom Kercher.

She was able to get a spot on the Rutgers lacrosse team.

“What was important to us was Maddie wanted to play in college at the highest level and we wanted her to have the experience of being a D1 student athlete,” Tom says. In fact, when it looked like Madison might not get to play in college, the family felt a sense of loss. “For us, as parents, watching Maddie when going through this, it was very hard to see how stressed out she was,” says mother Kim Kercher. “There were times when I thought it was too much, but I knew if she didn’t have a stick in her hand and try to play in college she would never be happy.”

Not Just in NoVA

The prestige of scoring a coveted spot on a college sports team is apparent in Northern Virginia and the entire DC region, but recent headlines show that the competitiveness has reached a fever pitch in affluent circles all over the country.

Earlier this year, news broke of a sweeping bribery scandal that saw more than 30 parents accused of paying William Rick Singer, an admissions consultant, an estimated $25 million combined to bribe coaches at competitive colleges to recruit students into sports programs. Schools implicated in the Varsity Blues scandal include Georgetown University (which declined to comment for this story), as well as Yale, Stanford, Wake Forest University, University of California Los Angeles, University of Texas, University of San Diego and University of Southern California. Increasingly elite sports, such as crew, tennis and lacrosse, have become a means for affluent students to get into competitive schools. Many of these families can afford to spend thousands of dollars on club team fees, travel, a personal coach and maybe even a sports psychologist and nutritionist to help their fledging athlete mature.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-19 Here’s what it’s really like to be recruited as a college athlete in NoVA the st. james Students Sports soccer scholarship recruitment recruiting Lacrosse high school athlete football family life Family Culture Features athletics athletes
For the Love of the Game: The St. James boasts coaches and staff equipped to provide guidance for elite high school athletes. (Photo courtesy of the St. James)

In NoVA, student athletes who hope to be recruited are spending anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 a year, says Homer.

It’s easy for families to get swept up in the process, says psychotherapist Michele T. Cole, LCSW, and founder of Moving Forward, PLC, a private practice in Old Town, Alexandria. Parents need to make sure their child is making a decision that isn’t just good for them athletically, but also academically and emotionally. “Sometimes kids are getting recruited and they don’t even know why they are doing it,” she says. Continually ask your son or daughter why they want to play for a certain college and whether it fits into their overall goals, Cole says. “Are they doing it for the right reason or just because they are so caught up in the moment, they can’t take a step back?”

Madison Kercher’s story is familiar to Cole; her daughter was recruited to play lacrosse for the University of Denver, but before her daughter’s freshman year she decided to step away from the sport. “Listen to your kid,” Cole says. “They know what they need. When they say, ‘I’m ready to put my stick down,’ it can be hard because the whole family is walking away from it.”

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-83 Here’s what it’s really like to be recruited as a college athlete in NoVA the st. james Students Sports soccer scholarship recruitment recruiting Lacrosse high school athlete football family life Family Culture Features athletics athletes
Welcome to the Big Show: Mitch Griffis, 17, a rising senior at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, was recruited by a dozen Division I schools. (Photo by Jonathan Timmes)
Dreams Require Sacrifice

Football is the one sport that offers full scholarships, but not every player will be recruited by a DI team. Myron Flowers, strength and conditioning director at The St. James, sees no shame in playing ball at a smaller school. “It doesn’t matter what school you go to, as long as they [the school] are willing to pay [the tuition],” he says. There are a lot of schools that have football teams that parents and students have never heard of, he says, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t competitive teams. This year, Flowers worked with 20 seniors; 16 received football scholarships. He counsels his athletes to “be the best player, student and person they can be, and see where the chips fall and accept whatever it is.”

And then there’s the quintessential high school athlete success story that every parent dreams about—the quarterback who gets recruited by a dozen DI schools. Mitch Griffis, 17, a rising senior, has been playing football for nearly 12 years. He was recruited by a dozen schools, including Harvard University, University of Maryland and Vanderbilt University, and received his first college offer January of his sophomore year. Last June, he accepted a full scholarship to play for Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in January 2020.

Mitch is clear-eyed about why he chose Wake Forest. “Definitely the coaching staff was the biggest reason why I felt it was the best fit,” he says. “They believe in the same things I do—moral character and work ethic.” He also liked that Wake Forest is close to home and it’s an Atlantic Coast Conference school.

None of his success has been accidental. Mitch’s father, Matt Griffis, started taking him to one-day recruiting camps at colleges the summer before he started ninth grade. “The purpose was for him to see what kind of talent was out there and what the college coaches were looking for,” says Matt, who is also the head football coach at Broad Run High School in Ashburn, where his son plays on the varsity team.

Don’t assume Mitch had it easy because his dad is the high school football coach. His weekly schedule leaves little room for free time. Every morning, except Wednesday, he lifts weights before school starts, from 7:15 to 8:45 a.m.; he does speed training three days a week; works on his football throws three days a week; and watches football videos three days a week for an hour to get a better understanding of the game. “There is always something you can learn,” he says. In between, he goes to school, studies, does homework and tries to sneak in time to hang out with friends.

Mitch understands that he has to make sacrifices to play football in college. “Lifting and throwing has to come in front of hanging out,” he says. It’s sometimes hard to say no to friends, he continues. “They give me a hard time but they understand.”

If They Don’t Make the Team

Playing a sport is a great way for students to make friends, learn leadership skills and life lessons. The danger comes when parents and students start setting unrealistic goals. “We really need to shift our culture away from asking, ‘Is my son or daughter good enough to play for the best team?’” Homer says.

Raising a student athlete can put extra stress on the entire family, Cole says. Someone has to get that student to games and to practice, and often the entire family’s weekend schedule revolves around tournaments. That’s a lot of pressure on the family, and it can feel like a full-time job to the student, she says. Sometimes when parents invest a lot of time and money into getting training and instruction for their student, they lose sight of the big picture and why their student started playing that sport.

It’s also not uncommon for students who play sports competitively to become isolated from other kids because they’re spending all their time practicing or competing, Cole says. Even when they’re with their teammates all weekend, they might not be developing friendships because they’re competing for a place on the team or playing time. “Make sure they’re doing things with friends outside their sport,” she says.

Playing the game can become such a big part of a student’s and the family’s life that, if high school ends, and they aren’t recruited to play in college, it can be difficult for the student and the family to handle. “Remind your student that they did their personal best,” Cole says. “Help them find a way to walk away from it.”

Meanwhile, Matthew spent Memorial Day weekend at a college showcase, where five coaches came to see him play soccer. Soon after that event, Matthew was offered his first college-roster spot. He and his father are reluctant to name the school because Matthew is still going through the recruiting process. Also, the offer is for a college they still need to visit, his father says. “It’s good to have one offer at this point,” Mike says, “because once other schools hear, it creates competitiveness among the coaches.”

 

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-75 Here’s what it’s really like to be recruited as a college athlete in NoVA the st. james Students Sports soccer scholarship recruitment recruiting Lacrosse high school athlete football family life Family Culture Features athletics athletes
Team Player: Mitch Griffis will play for Wake Forest University starting in January 2020. (Photo by Jonathan Timmes)
Recruiting Timeline

While every sport has a different recruiting timeline, most high school athletes start thinking about college recruiting in middle school. By junior year, many will already have written offers from colleges. Here’s a timeline of what to expect and how to prepare your student athlete.

8th grade

  • Develop a list of colleges your student would like to attend and play for. “Figure out what they like about the school,” says Doug Homer, director of soccer at The St. James. They will need to be prepared to verbalize why they want to attend the college and what they want to learn while they are there.
  • Join a travel team and start attending camps.
  • Start building a highlight reel.

9th grade

  • Visit a few colleges and start to whittle down your list.
  • Begin to reach out to coaches by email. Let them know you want to play for their school, send them your highlight reel and let them know what tournaments you will be playing in. Make sure the email comes from the student, not the parent. Keep in mind you might not hear back from coaches because some sports prevent coaches from communicating with players until their junior year.
  • Keep attending camps and showcases to get in front of coaches.

10th grade

  • Start looking at college rosters and determine how many players who play your position will still be on the team when you enroll in two years.
  • Research the graduate rate for athletic teams.
  • Evaluate the strength of the coaching staff. Have they been coaching there for a while? Is there staff turnover every two to three years?
  • Visit colleges, talk with coaches, meet with players and experience student life on campus.
  • Focus on your grades—understand what the school’s requirements are for GPA and SAT or ACT scores.

11th grade

  • By now, you should begin hearing from coaches and might even begin to receive formal offers.
  • Continue visiting colleges and talking with coaches.
  • Ask your student athlete why they want to be recruited by that school and whether it fits with their goals.

This story has been updated from its original print version.

This post was originally published in our August 2019 issue. To stay up to date with culture in Northern Virginia, subscribe to our newsletters.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Play ball: Here’s every sports league you can join this fall around NoVA

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-63 Play ball: Here’s every sports league you can join this fall around NoVA volleyball Things to Do Features Things to Do Sports soccer parks & rec leagues football field hockey fall sports competition basketball athletics adult leagues
Photo by Airman 1st Class Dillon Audit / U.S. Department of Defense

As summer fairs and beach days decrease, it’s time to prepare for the cooler months ahead. And while you may have to add some layers to your wardrobe, the time you spend outdoors can definitely continue thanks to the wide variety of fall sports leagues starting this September around Northern Virginia. 

Whether you are interested in unleashing your competitive side through co-ed basketball or really just want to meet some new people in your neighborhood, we’ve got you covered. Be sure to sign up soon, as the majority of these leagues’ registrations end on Aug. 21.

Basketball

Tuesday Women’s 3v3
Starts Sept. 3, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Mott Community Center: 12111 Braddock Road, Fairfax; $90

Tuesday Men’s 5v5
Starts Sept. 3, 7-11 p.m.
HS Regulation Court: venues will vary each week; $95-$795

Wednesday Coed 5v5
Starts Sept. 4, 7-11 p.m.
HS Regulation Court: venues will vary each week; $95-$795

Thursday Men’s 5v5
Starts Sept. 5, 7-11 p.m.
HS Regulation Court: venues will vary each week; $95-$795

Sunday Morning Coed 5v5
Starts Sept. 8, 8 a.m.-noon
HS Regulation Court: venues will vary each week; $95-$750

Sunday Morning Men’s 5v5
Starts Sept. 8, 8 a.m.-noon
HS Regulation Court: venues will vary each week; $95-$750

Sunday Night Men’s (35-plus league)
Starts Sept. 8, 5-11 p.m.
HS Regulation Court: venues will vary each week; $95-$750

Sunday Night Men’s 5v5
Starts Sept. 8, 5-11 p.m.
George Mason High School, Annandale High School & Thomas Jefferson High School; $95-$750

Monday Men’s 5v5
Starts Sept. 9, 7-11 p.m.
HS Regulation Court: venues will vary each week; $95-$795

Monday Coed 5v5
Starts Sept. 9, 7-11 p.m.
HS Regulation Court: venues will vary each week; $95-$795

Football

Saturday Flag Football with Fredericksburg Field House
Starts Sept. 7
Fredericksburg Field House: 3411 Shannon Park Drive, Fredericksburg; $60-$650

Weekday Coed Football
Starting dates & times vary
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $60-$800 

Weekday Men’s Football
Starts Sept. 4 & Sept. 5, 8-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $70-$880 

Saturday Morning Coed Football 5v5
Starts Sept. 7, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Stone Middle School: 5500 Sully Park Drive, Centreville; $75-$595 

Saturday Morning Men’s 5v5 Football
Starts Sept. 7, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Stone Middle School: 5500 Sully Park Drive, Centreville; $75-$595 

Sunday Morning Coed Football
Starts Sept. 8, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $60-$800

Sunday Morning Men’s Football
Starts Sept. 8, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $60-$800

Sunday Night Men’s Football
Starts Sept. 8, 6-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $70-$880

Soccer

Fall Co-Ed Soccer Competitive Division
Starts Sept. 9
Lee Center: 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria; free-$35

Monday Coed & Men’s Leagues
Starts Sept. 9, 8-11 p.m,
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $70-$1,195

Tuesday 11v11 Leagues
Starts Sept. 3, 8-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $70-$1,195

Tuesday Men’s 8v8
Starts Sept. 3, 8-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $65-$905

Wednesday Coed 11v11
Starts Sept. 4, 8-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $70-$1,195

Wednesday 8v8 Leagues
Starts Sept. 4, 8-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $65-$905

Thursday Coed & Men’s Leagues
Starts Sept. 5, 8-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $70-$1,195

Friday Men’s 8v8
Starts Sept. 6, 8-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $60-$905

Saturday Night Women’s & Men’s Leagues
Starts Sept. 7, 6-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $65-$795

Sunday Men’s, Women’s & Coed Leagues
Starts Sept. 8, times vary
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $70-$1,195

Softball

Fall Men’s Softball Competitive Division
Starts Sept. 9
Lee Center: 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria; free-$35

Fall Coed Softball League (Tuesday Division)
Starts Sept. 9
Lee Center: 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria; free-$35

Fall Coed Softball League (Wednesday Division)
Starts Sept. 9
Lee Center: 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria; free-$35

Volleyball

Fall Coed Volleyball Recreation & Competitive Divisions
Starts Sept. 9
Lee Center: 1108 Jefferson St., Alexandria; free-$35

Monday-Friday Coed Indoor Volleyball
Starts Sept. 3-9
Cassel’s Sports Complex: 1400 Park Center Road, Herndon; $55-$500

Sunday Night Women’s Indoor Volleyball
Starts Sept. 8, 7-11 p.m.
Cassel’s Sports Complex: 1400 Park Center Road, Herndon; $55-$500

Sunday Night Coed Indoor Volleyball
Starts Sept. 8, 7-11 p.m.
Cassel’s Sports Complex: 1400 Park Center Road, Herndon; $55-$500

Tuesday Women’s Indoor 4v4
Starts Sept. 10, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Mott Community Center: 12111 Braddock Road, Fairfax; $65-$395

Thursday Men’s Indoor 4v4
Starts Sept. 12, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Mott Community Center: 12111 Braddock Road, Fairfax; $65-$395

Field Hockey & Lacrosse

Sunday Adult Field Hockey
Starts Sept. 8
Fredericksburg Field House: 3411 Shannon Park Drive, Fredericksburg; $90 

Fall 2019 BAC Adult Field Hockey
Starts Sept. 8, Sundays from 8-9:15 p.m.
Burke Athletic Club; $35

Sunday Night Men’s Lacrosse
Starts Sept. 8, 8-11 p.m.
Various turf fields in Fairfax County; $100-$1,200

Kickball

Wednesday & Thursday Kickball Herndon 
Starts Sept. 4 & Sept. 5, 8-10:30 p.m.
Herndon Middle School: 901 Locust St., Herndon; $50-$650

Monday & Thursday Kickball Annandale 
Starts Sept. 5 & Sept. 9, 8-11 p.m.
Wakefield Park: 8100 Braddock Road, Annandale; $50-$650

Saturday Afternoon Kickball Reston
Starts Sept. 7, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Eagle View Elementary School: 4500 Dixie Hill Road, Fairfax; $40-$575

Sunday Afternoon Kickball Fairfax
Starts Sept. 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Eagle View Elementary School: 4500 Dixie Hill Road, Fairfax; $50-$650

Bar Sports & Other Games

Wednesday Bar Sports
Starts Sept. 4, 7-9 p.m.
Carpool Bar: 12821 Fair Lakes Parkway, Fairfax; $35

Thursday Bar Sports
Starts Sept. 5, 7-9 p.m.
Carpool Bar: 12821 Fair Lakes Parkway, Fairfax; $35

Thursday Bocce
Starts Sept. 5, 7-9 p.m.
2 Silos Brewing Company: 9925 Discovery Blvd., Manassas & Farm Brew LIVE: 9901 Discovery Blvd., Manassas; $35

Tuesday Open Bowling
Starts Sept. 3, 7:15-10 p.m.
Bowlero Centreville: 13814 Lee Highway, Centreville; $85

Wednesday Open Bowling
Starts Sept. 4, 7:15-10 p.m.
Bowlero Centreville: 13814 Lee Highway, Centreville; $85

Cornhole: Tuesday-Thursday & Sunday
Starting dates vary, 7-9 p.m.
2 Silos Brewing Company: 9925 Discovery Blvd., Manassas & Farm Brew LIVE: 9901 Discovery Blvd., Manassas; $40

Wednesday Coed Dodgeball
Starts Sept. 11, 7:30-10:30 p.m.
Mott Community Center: 12111 Braddock Road, Fairfax; $50-$595


Arlington County fall sports leagues have already closed for registration and the Prince William County league registration will open on Aug. 21.

Want to stay up to date with all of the best outdoor activities to participate in this fall? Subscribe to our newsletters. 

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

This Reston native is making college football a fashionable affair

Westlake Legal Group hokies This Reston native is making college football a fashionable affair Virginia Tech tailgating tailgate style Sports shopping jean jacket football fashion fall fashion designer design
Photo courtesy of Caroline DeMarco

In just a few short weeks, one of the most entertaining, competitive and exciting times of the year will be upon us: college football season.

While avid alumni and local fans anticipate the start of the season on Aug. 24 by planning for pregame cookouts, many college students prepare by crafting attire for tailgates—think fringed tanks and bleached sweatshirts—which are then sold on Instagram.

Caroline DeMarco, a Reston native who graduated from Oakton High School in Vienna earlier this year, has recently tapped into this trend (about a month before starting her very first year of at Virginia Tech University). But DeMarco has taken a different approach to the industry thriving on social media, in that she hand-paints designs on denim jackets, creating tailgate staples for the cooler months.

Westlake Legal Group UCLA This Reston native is making college football a fashionable affair Virginia Tech tailgating tailgate style Sports shopping jean jacket football fashion fall fashion designer design
Photo courtesy of Caroline DeMarco

“I’ve always liked art and painting but I didn’t really have one thing I worked on and I thought this would be fun,” says DeMarco of her craft. “I saw the idea online for other schools but there weren’t many for Virginia Tech, so I made my own and then from there other people started to get interested.”

While DeMarco made her first jacket a little over a month ago, she has already received 40 orders through direct messaging on her Instagram account, @denim_by_caro, as well as text messages from local students in the Northern Virginia region. 

Here’s how it works: Consumers submit a picture of the logo they want and then DeMarco sketches the design using chalk, followed by a textile medium mixed with paint, allowing it to be machine washable. Each jacket takes about four to five hours to complete depending on the design, and DeMarco charges $30 if the buyer sends their own jacket or $60 if they want DeMarco to buy it as the design’s base. 

Westlake Legal Group dukes This Reston native is making college football a fashionable affair Virginia Tech tailgating tailgate style Sports shopping jean jacket football fashion fall fashion designer design
Photo courtesy of Caroline DeMarco

“I’ve made jackets mostly for Virginia-based schools, but people are hearing about it through friends so I’ve also made some for UCLA, Clemson and other schools,” says DeMarco. 

While she is leaving NoVA in about two weeks with plans to start a pre-veterinary track, DeMarco will be continuing her business as a student at Virginia Tech. Plus, DeMarco and her future roommate are considering expanding the designs to DIY T-shirts this fall, giving followers the chance to try out the art themselves. 

As others ask DeMarco for help showing their university pride, DeMarco is more than ready to experience tailgate season for the first time as a college student.

“I will definitely be wearing the jacket I made for myself all the time,” says DeMarco. “It’s easy to layer once it gets colder with a sweatshirt and a cute pair of jeans. You can really wear it with anything.”

Interested in reading all about NoVA trendsetters? Subscribe to our Shopping e-newsletter today.  

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Furor

Nike planned to celebrate the Fourth of July with a new sneaker, a special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike featuring that most patriotic of symbols: an American flag.

But rather than including a flag with 50 stars as part of its design, the sneaker’s heel featured the 13-star model, a design associated with the Revolutionary War, the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross and, for some people, a painful history of oppression and racism.

On Tuesday, Nike canceled the release of the sneaker, again plunging headlong into the nation’s culture wars.

The abrupt cancellation came after Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League quarterback and social justice activist, privately criticized the design to Nike, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction.

Mr. Kaepernick, who signed a lucrative deal to serve as a Nike brand ambassador last year, expressed the concern to the company that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies, the person said.

Sandra Carreon-John, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Nike had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The company’s initial acknowledgment of the recall hours earlier did not explain the reasoning behind the decision.

While people all across the political spectrum debated the issue on social media, Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican of Arizona, announced on Twitter that he would pull back state support for a Nike facility that would have employed more than 500 people. Nike had proposed to open the $184 million plant in Goodyear, Ariz.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Mr. Ducey said in a series of tweets, adding that Nike “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

The governor, who had previously called the factory “an exciting project,” also said: “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Susan Marie, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the economic development agency was withdrawing the offer of a grant to Nike, worth up to $1 million, “at the governor’s discretion.”

In a statement Tuesday, the City of Goodyear called the furor “a difficult situation” but said its offer of financial incentives to Nike still stood, as elected officials from New Mexico sought to capitalize on the uncertainty and lure the plant across the state line.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the cancellation of the sneaker and Mr. Kaepernick’s involvement.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the first American flag at George Washington’s behest, though most scholars dispute that story as legend, according to the Library of Congress.

To many, the flag is merely a relic, a design that shows up at historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg and on government insignia, like the seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“People just see it as a symbol of early America and the founding of our nation,” said Lisa Moulder, the director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, which draws more than 1,000 visitors a day. “In Betsy’s time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool.”

But the flag has, at least in recent years, cropped up in association with racist ideologies. When the Ku Klux Klan tried to recruit new followers in upstate New York last year, its fliers featured a Klansman flanked by the Confederate flag and the Betsy Ross flag. Similar imagery was reportedly included in a letter sent by the Klan to a college newspaper in Washington in 2017.

In 2016, a school superintendent in Michigan apologized after students waved the 13-star flag alongside a Trump political banner at a football game, writing in a letter to parents that the flag had come “to some symbolizes exclusion and hate.” And according to a 2013 investigation by The Albany Herald in Georgia, at least some local Klan units were required to use either that flag or the Confederate flag at ritualistic meetings.

Prominent conservatives argued that Nike’s cancellation of the shoe was unpatriotic.

“It’s a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential candidate, tweeted, “Just so you know how this works now: Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like it.”

Mr. Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, became a face of the social justice movement in 2016 after he began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest police violence against black people and racial inequality in the United States.

His acts of protest inspired similar demonstrations from other professional athletes, but they came under fire from politicians including President Trump, who argued that they were disrespecting the country and the military, and some fans boycotted the N.F.L.

After receiving no offers to join with a team after the 2016 season, Mr. Kaepernick accused the N.F.L. of trying to keep him and a former teammate, Eric Reid, out of the league. In February, the two reached a surprise settlement with the N.F.L. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02xp-nike-articleLarge Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Furor United States National Anthem Protests (2016- ) United States Social Media Sneakers NIKE Inc National Football League Kaepernick, Colin football Flags, Emblems and Insignia Ducey, Doug (1964- ) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Corporate Social Responsibility Arizona

A Nike billboard in Manhattan featuring Colin Kaepernick. The company made Mr. Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign last year.CreditAlba Vigaray/EPA, via Shutterstock

As part of his lucrative endorsement arrangement with Nike, Mr. Kaepernick appeared prominently in an advertising campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan. In the wake of the ad, some consumers called for a boycott of Nike, while others destroyed their Nike products.

But analysts said that Nike had not suffered financially from its association with an athlete who had become a symbol of the so-called Resistance movement.

“Pretty much every metric you can look at was positive for Nike — their social media mentions went up, their sales rose the week after, and they won a bunch of awards for the ad campaign,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for the NPD Group. “They are clearly aligned with their core customer base — the millennial and the Gen Z consumer — and if they have alienated others, those are not the folks who buy a lot of Nikes.”

The decision to cancel the special Air Max shoe is a sign of Mr. Kaepernick’s power at Nike, said Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Nike is signaling that they’re going to go all-in on this road, whatever the consequences are, even if it’s going to get some consumers to burn their shoes on Twitter,” he said.

But it can be risky for corporations to ally themselves with divisive brand ambassadors.

“When you get into the game of commodifying social issues in a time of ultra-volatile global political sensitivity, you better create a department in your organization that does nothing all day and night but monitors and understands that state of play,” David A. Hollander, an assistant dean and associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, said in an email.

Companies have reacted quickly to brand gaffes in the past. H & M apologized last year for using a black child to model a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle” and removed the sweatshirt from its stores. The year before, Zara withdrew a miniskirt featuring a cartoon that resembled Pepe the Frog, a character designated as an alt-right hate symbol.

Those examples were more obviously offensive than the commemorative Nikes, several branding experts said. But Mr. Reed, of the Wharton School, said that, for many consumers, the 18th-century flag was representative less of the fight for freedom from British rule than of a period of race-based oppression.

“For lots of people, it’s quite similar to, say, the Confederate flag,” Mr. Reed said. “The revolution now is one of diversity, of all kinds of dimensions that go beyond just white males — women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations. It’s a different world, and it’s a different flag.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nike Drops ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker After Kaepernick Criticizes It

Nike planned to celebrate the Fourth of July with a new sneaker, a special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike featuring that most patriotic of symbols: an American flag.

But rather than including a flag with 50 stars as part of its design, the sneaker’s heel featured the 13-star model, a design associated with the Revolutionary War, the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross and, for some people, a painful history of oppression and racism.

On Tuesday, Nike canceled the release of the sneaker, again plunging headlong into the nation’s culture wars.

The abrupt cancellation came after Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League quarterback and social justice activist, privately criticized the design to Nike, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction.

Mr. Kaepernick, who signed a lucrative deal to serve as a Nike brand ambassador last year, expressed the concern to the company that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies, the person said.

Sandra Carreon-John, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Nike had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The company’s initial acknowledgment of the recall hours earlier did not explain the reasoning behind the decision.

While people all across the political spectrum debated the issue on social media, Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican of Arizona, announced on Twitter that he would pull back state support for a Nike facility that would have employed more than 500 people. Nike had proposed to open the $184 million plant in Goodyear, Ariz.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Mr. Ducey said in a series of tweets, adding that Nike “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

The governor, who had previously called the factory “an exciting project,” also said: “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Susan Marie, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the economic development agency was withdrawing the offer of a grant to Nike, worth up to $1 million, “at the governor’s discretion.”

In a statement Tuesday, the City of Goodyear called the furor “a difficult situation” but said its offer of financial incentives to Nike still stood, as elected officials from New Mexico sought to capitalize on the uncertainty and lure the plant across the state line.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the cancellation of the sneaker and Mr. Kaepernick’s involvement.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the first American flag at George Washington’s behest, though most scholars dispute that story as legend, according to the Library of Congress.

To many, the flag is merely a relic, a design that shows up at historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg and on government insignia, like the seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“People just see it as a symbol of early America and the founding of our nation,” said Lisa Moulder, the director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, which draws more than 1,000 visitors a day. “In Betsy’s time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool.”

But the flag has, at least in recent years, cropped up in association with racist ideologies. When the Ku Klux Klan tried to recruit new followers in upstate New York last year, its fliers featured a Klansman flanked by the Confederate flag and the Betsy Ross flag. Similar imagery was reportedly included in a letter sent by the Klan to a college newspaper in Washington in 2017.

In 2016, a school superintendent in Michigan apologized after students waved the 13-star flag alongside a Trump political banner at a football game, writing in a letter to parents that the flag had come “to some symbolizes exclusion and hate.” And according to a 2013 investigation by The Albany Herald in Georgia, at least some local Klan units were required to use either that flag or the Confederate flag at ritualistic meetings.

Prominent conservatives argued that Nike’s cancellation of the shoe was unpatriotic.

“It’s a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential candidate, tweeted, “Just so you know how this works now: Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like it.”

Mr. Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, became a face of the social justice movement in 2016 after he began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest police violence against black people and racial inequality in the United States.

His acts of protest inspired similar demonstrations from other professional athletes, but they came under fire from politicians including President Trump, who argued that they were disrespecting the country and the military, and some fans boycotted the N.F.L.

After receiving no offers to join with a team after the 2016 season, Mr. Kaepernick accused the N.F.L. of trying to keep him and a former teammate, Eric Reid, out of the league. In February, the two reached a surprise settlement with the N.F.L. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02xp-nike-articleLarge Nike Drops ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker After Kaepernick Criticizes It United States National Anthem Protests (2016- ) United States Social Media Sneakers Ross, Betsy NIKE Inc Kaepernick, Colin Independence Day (US) (July 4) football Flags, Emblems and Insignia Ducey, Doug (1964- ) discrimination Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Corporate Social Responsibility Blacks Arizona

A Nike billboard in Manhattan featuring Colin Kaepernick. The company made Mr. Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign last year.CreditAlba Vigaray/EPA, via Shutterstock

As part of his lucrative endorsement arrangement with Nike, Mr. Kaepernick appeared prominently in an advertising campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan. In the wake of the ad, some consumers called for a boycott of Nike, while others destroyed their Nike products.

But analysts said that Nike had not suffered financially from its association with an athlete who had become a symbol of the so-called Resistance movement.

“Pretty much every metric you can look at was positive for Nike — their social media mentions went up, their sales rose the week after, and they won a bunch of awards for the ad campaign,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for the NPD Group. “They are clearly aligned with their core customer base — the millennial and the Gen Z consumer — and if they have alienated others, those are not the folks who buy a lot of Nikes.”

The decision to cancel the special Air Max shoe is a sign of Mr. Kaepernick’s power at Nike, said Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Nike is signaling that they’re going to go all-in on this road, whatever the consequences are, even if it’s going to get some consumers to burn their shoes on Twitter,” he said.

But it can be risky for corporations to ally themselves with divisive brand ambassadors.

“When you get into the game of commodifying social issues in a time of ultra-volatile global political sensitivity, you better create a department in your organization that does nothing all day and night but monitors and understands that state of play,” David A. Hollander, an assistant dean and associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, said in an email.

Companies have reacted quickly to brand gaffes in the past. H & M apologized last year for using a black child to model a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle” and removed the sweatshirt from its stores. The year before, Zara withdrew a miniskirt featuring a cartoon that resembled Pepe the Frog, a character designated as an alt-right hate symbol.

Those examples were more obviously offensive than the commemorative Nikes, several branding experts said. But Mr. Reed, of the Wharton School, said that, for many consumers, the 18th-century flag was representative less of the fight for freedom from British rule than of a period of race-based oppression.

“For lots of people, it’s quite similar to, say, the Confederate flag,” Mr. Reed said. “The revolution now is one of diversity, of all kinds of dimensions that go beyond just white males — women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations. It’s a different world, and it’s a different flag.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Backlash

Nike planned to celebrate the Fourth of July with a new sneaker, a special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike featuring that most patriotic of symbols: an American flag.

But rather than including a flag with 50 stars as part of its design, the sneaker’s heel featured the 13-star model, a design associated with the Revolutionary War, the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross and, for some people, a painful history of oppression and racism.

On Tuesday, Nike canceled the release of the sneaker, again plunging headlong into the nation’s culture wars.

The abrupt cancellation came after Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League quarterback and social justice activist, privately criticized the design to Nike, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction.

Mr. Kaepernick, who signed a lucrative deal to serve as a Nike brand ambassador last year, expressed the concern to the company that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies, the person said.

Sandra Carreon-John, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Nike had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The company’s initial acknowledgment of the recall hours earlier did not explain the reasoning behind the decision.

While people all across the political spectrum debated the issue on social media, Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican of Arizona, announced on Twitter that he would pull back state support for a Nike facility that would have employed more than 500 people. Nike had proposed to open the $184 million plant in Goodyear, Ariz.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Mr. Ducey said in a series of tweets, adding that Nike “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

The governor, who had previously called the factory “an exciting project,” also said: “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Susan Marie, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the economic development agency was withdrawing the offer of a grant to Nike, worth up to $1 million, “at the governor’s discretion.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the cancellation of the sneaker and Mr. Kaepernick’s involvement.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the first American flag at George Washington’s behest, though most scholars dispute that story as legend, according to the Library of Congress.

To many, the flag is merely a relic, a design that shows up at historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg and on government insignia, like the seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“People just see it as a symbol of early America and the founding of our nation,” said Lisa Moulder, the director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, which draws more than 1,000 visitors a day. “In Betsy’s time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool.”

But the flag has, at least in recent years, cropped up in association with racist ideologies. When the Ku Klux Klan tried to recruit new followers in upstate New York last year, its fliers featured a Klansman flanked by the Confederate flag and the Betsy Ross flag. Similar imagery was reportedly included in a letter sent by the Klan to a college newspaper in Washington in 2017.

In 2016, a school superintendent in Michigan apologized after students waved the 13-star flag alongside a Trump political banner at a football game, writing in a letter to parents that the flag had come “to some symbolizes exclusion and hate.” And according to a 2013 investigation by The Albany Herald in Georgia, at least some local Klan units were required to use either that flag or the Confederate flag at ritualistic meetings.

Prominent conservatives argued that Nike’s cancellation of the shoe was unpatriotic.

“It’s a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential candidate, tweeted, “Just so you know how this works now: Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like it.”

Mr. Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, became a face of the social justice movement in 2016 after he began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest police violence against black people and racial inequality in the United States.

His acts of protest inspired similar demonstrations from other professional athletes, but they came under fire from politicians including President Trump, who argued that they were disrespecting the country and the military, and some fans boycotted the N.F.L.

After receiving no offers to join with a team after the 2016 season, Mr. Kaepernick accused the N.F.L. of trying to keep him and a former teammate, Eric Reid, out of the league. In February, the two reached a surprise settlement with the N.F.L. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02xp-nike-articleLarge Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Backlash United States National Anthem Protests (2016- ) United States Social Media Sneakers NIKE Inc National Football League Kaepernick, Colin football Flags, Emblems and Insignia Ducey, Doug (1964- ) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Corporate Social Responsibility Arizona

A Nike billboard in Manhattan featuring Colin Kaepernick. The company made Mr. Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign last year.CreditAlba Vigaray/EPA, via Shutterstock

As part of his lucrative endorsement arrangement with Nike, Mr. Kaepernick appeared prominently in an advertising campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan. In the wake of the ad, some consumers called for a boycott of Nike, while others destroyed their Nike products.

But analysts said that Nike had not suffered financially from its association with an athlete who had become a symbol of the so-called Resistance movement.

“Pretty much every metric you can look at was positive for Nike — their social media mentions went up, their sales rose the week after, and they won a bunch of awards for the ad campaign,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for the NPD Group. “They are clearly aligned with their core customer base — the millennial and the Gen Z consumer — and if they have alienated others, those are not the folks who buy a lot of Nikes.”

The decision to cancel the special Air Max shoe is a sign of Mr. Kaepernick’s power at Nike, said Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Nike is signaling that they’re going to go all-in on this road, whatever the consequences are, even if it’s going to get some consumers to burn their shoes on Twitter,” he said.

But it can be risky for corporations to ally themselves with divisive brand ambassadors.

“When you get into the game of commodifying social issues in a time of ultra-volatile global political sensitivity, you better create a department in your organization that does nothing all day and night but monitors and understands that state of play,” David A. Hollander, an assistant dean and associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, said in an email.

Companies have reacted quickly to brand gaffes in the past. H & M apologized last year for using a black child to model a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle” and removed the sweatshirt from its stores. The year before, Zara withdrew a miniskirt featuring a cartoon that resembled Pepe the Frog, a character designated as an alt-right hate symbol.

Those examples were more obviously offensive than the commemorative Nikes, several branding experts said. But Mr. Reed, of the Wharton School, said that, for many consumers, the 18th-century flag was representative less of the fight for freedom from British rule than of a period of race-based oppression.

“For lots of people, it’s quite similar to, say, the Confederate flag,” Mr. Reed said. “The revolution now is one of diversity, of all kinds of dimensions that go beyond just white males — women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations. It’s a different world, and it’s a different flag.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Backlash

Nike planned to celebrate the Fourth of July with a new sneaker, a special edition of the Air Max 1 Quick Strike featuring that most patriotic of symbols: an American flag.

But rather than including a flag with 50 stars as part of its design, the sneaker’s heel featured the 13-star model, a design associated with the Revolutionary War, the Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross and, for some people, a painful history of oppression and racism.

On Tuesday, Nike canceled the release of the sneaker, again plunging headlong into the nation’s culture wars.

The abrupt cancellation came after Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League quarterback and social justice activist, privately criticized the design to Nike, according to a person with knowledge of the interaction.

Mr. Kaepernick, who signed a lucrative deal to serve as a Nike brand ambassador last year, expressed the concern to the company that the Betsy Ross flag had been co-opted by groups espousing racist ideologies, the person said.

Sandra Carreon-John, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement on Tuesday that Nike had made the decision to “halt distribution” of the sneaker “based on concerns that it could unintentionally offend and detract from the nation’s patriotic holiday.” The company’s initial acknowledgment of the recall hours earlier did not explain the reasoning behind the decision.

While people all across the political spectrum debated the issue on social media, Gov. Doug Ducey, Republican of Arizona, announced on Twitter that he would pull back state support for a Nike facility that would have employed more than 500 people. Nike had proposed to open the $184 million plant in Goodyear, Ariz.

“Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision,” Mr. Ducey said in a series of tweets, adding that Nike “has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

The governor, who had previously called the factory “an exciting project,” also said: “Arizona’s economy is doing just fine without Nike. We don’t need to suck up to companies that consciously denigrate our nation’s history.”

Susan Marie, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Commerce Authority, said the economic development agency was withdrawing the offer of a grant to Nike, worth up to $1 million, “at the governor’s discretion.”

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the cancellation of the sneaker and Mr. Kaepernick’s involvement.

Betsy Ross is widely credited with creating the first American flag at George Washington’s behest, though most scholars dispute that story as legend, according to the Library of Congress.

To many, the flag is merely a relic, a design that shows up at historical sites like Colonial Williamsburg and on government insignia, like the seal of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“People just see it as a symbol of early America and the founding of our nation,” said Lisa Moulder, the director of the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, which draws more than 1,000 visitors a day. “In Betsy’s time, the flag was strictly utilitarian, a military tool.”

But the flag has, at least in recent years, cropped up in association with racist ideologies. When the Ku Klux Klan tried to recruit new followers in upstate New York last year, its fliers featured a Klansman flanked by the Confederate flag and the Betsy Ross flag. Similar imagery was reportedly included in a letter sent by the Klan to a college newspaper in Washington in 2017.

In 2016, a school superintendent in Michigan apologized after students waved the 13-star flag alongside a Trump political banner at a football game, writing in a letter to parents that the flag had come “to some symbolizes exclusion and hate.” And according to a 2013 investigation by The Albany Herald in Georgia, at least some local Klan units were required to use either that flag or the Confederate flag at ritualistic meetings.

Prominent conservatives argued that Nike’s cancellation of the shoe was unpatriotic.

“It’s a good thing Nike only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, wrote on Twitter.

Herman Cain, the former Republican presidential candidate, tweeted, “Just so you know how this works now: Nothing can happen in America anymore if Colin Kaepernick doesn’t like it.”

Mr. Kaepernick, who led the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl after the 2012 season, became a face of the social justice movement in 2016 after he began kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest police violence against black people and racial inequality in the United States.

His acts of protest inspired similar demonstrations from other professional athletes, but they came under fire from politicians including President Trump, who argued that they were disrespecting the country and the military, and some fans boycotted the N.F.L.

After receiving no offers to join with a team after the 2016 season, Mr. Kaepernick accused the N.F.L. of trying to keep him and a former teammate, Eric Reid, out of the league. In February, the two reached a surprise settlement with the N.F.L. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 02xp-nike-articleLarge Nike and Kaepernick Back in Culture Wars After ‘Betsy Ross Flag’ Sneaker Backlash United States National Anthem Protests (2016- ) United States Social Media Sneakers NIKE Inc National Football League Kaepernick, Colin football Flags, Emblems and Insignia Ducey, Doug (1964- ) Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Corporate Social Responsibility Arizona

A Nike billboard in Manhattan featuring Colin Kaepernick. The company made Mr. Kaepernick the face of its “Just Do It” campaign last year.CreditAlba Vigaray/EPA, via Shutterstock

As part of his lucrative endorsement arrangement with Nike, Mr. Kaepernick appeared prominently in an advertising campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of the company’s “Just Do It” slogan. In the wake of the ad, some consumers called for a boycott of Nike, while others destroyed their Nike products.

But analysts said that Nike had not suffered financially from its association with an athlete who had become a symbol of the so-called Resistance movement.

“Pretty much every metric you can look at was positive for Nike — their social media mentions went up, their sales rose the week after, and they won a bunch of awards for the ad campaign,” said Matt Powell, a sports industry analyst for the NPD Group. “They are clearly aligned with their core customer base — the millennial and the Gen Z consumer — and if they have alienated others, those are not the folks who buy a lot of Nikes.”

The decision to cancel the special Air Max shoe is a sign of Mr. Kaepernick’s power at Nike, said Americus Reed, a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

“Nike is signaling that they’re going to go all-in on this road, whatever the consequences are, even if it’s going to get some consumers to burn their shoes on Twitter,” he said.

But it can be risky for corporations to ally themselves with divisive brand ambassadors.

“When you get into the game of commodifying social issues in a time of ultra-volatile global political sensitivity, you better create a department in your organization that does nothing all day and night but monitors and understands that state of play,” David A. Hollander, an assistant dean and associate professor at New York University’s Tisch Institute for Global Sport, said in an email.

Companies have reacted quickly to brand gaffes in the past. H & M apologized last year for using a black child to model a hoodie that said “coolest monkey in the jungle” and removed the sweatshirt from its stores. The year before, Zara withdrew a miniskirt featuring a cartoon that resembled Pepe the Frog, a character designated as an alt-right hate symbol.

Those examples were more obviously offensive than the commemorative Nikes, several branding experts said. But Mr. Reed, of the Wharton School, said that, for many consumers, the 18th-century flag was representative less of the fight for freedom from British rule than of a period of race-based oppression.

“For lots of people, it’s quite similar to, say, the Confederate flag,” Mr. Reed said. “The revolution now is one of diversity, of all kinds of dimensions that go beyond just white males — women, people of color, people of different sexual orientations. It’s a different world, and it’s a different flag.”

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Should the U.S. women’s World Cup team have run up the score against Thailand?

Westlake Legal Group u Should the U.S. women’s World Cup team have run up the score against Thailand? World Cup Women u.s. The Blog Thailand soccer score goals football disgraceful

Not only did they run it up to an absurd outcome (13-0), say critics, but they danced their way through it, celebrating after most goals. At what point is an opponent sufficiently beaten and even humiliated that mercy can be shown?

The answer is: Never, bro. This is Trump’s America now. The cruelty is the point.

Of course the g-ddamned Canadians are offended:

We shall abide no lectures about sportsmanship from a garbage people who, not 48 hours ago, were cheering Kevin Durant’s crippling Achilles injury because they thought it meant a championship for their team.

But putting that aside, 13-0 *is* excessive, right? Actually, say soccer aficionados, the score is less problematic than the recurring celebrations after each goal. After all, arguably it’s more insulting to your opponent to ease up and treat them as if they’re a kiddie squad than to play at your best on the assumption that they’re equal to that challenge. “To be respectful to opponents is to play hard against opponents,” said U.S. coach Jill Ellis afterward. “I don’t find it my job to harness my players and rein them in because this is what they dreamt about. This is it for them. This is a world championship.”

They’re the elite of the elite, tapped to play in the World Cup before a global audience, and they’re supposed to go at half-speed for fear of making their opponents sad?

There’s a strategic reason too to run up the score, notes SI:

Ten of those goals came in the second half. And when the U.S. was up 7-0, coach Jill Ellis decided to bring on Lloyd and Christen Press and put the U.S. in a rarely seen four-player front line with Morgan and Rapinoe. In other words, we were seeing Extreme Attack Mode. Historically Extreme Attack Mode.

But did the Americans really need to score 13 times? Well, yes, they did. The first tiebreaker in the group stage standings is goal-difference, and it seems likely that both the U.S. and Sweden will be on six points when they meet each other in the group-stage finale on June 20.

If the U.S. and Sweden each win their first two matches and then draw when they play each other, goal differential will decide who wins the group and earns a weaker opponent in the first knockout round. That is, the tournament incentivizes you to run up the score. If FIFA wants to eliminate that incentive it should make “fewest goals allowed” the tiebreaker in the group stage.

But the incessant celebrating? That was just pure Trumpy swagger. They might as well have stopped to tweet after each goal that Thailand’s goalkeeper was “a total loser” and looked “sleepy” in net. Sad!

The post Should the U.S. women’s World Cup team have run up the score against Thailand? appeared first on Hot Air.

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Courts Throw Penalty Flag and Deny NFL Team Attempt to Scam Millions From BP Oil Spill Compensation

Westlake Legal Group Penalty-flag Courts Throw Penalty Flag and Deny NFL Team Attempt to Scam Millions From BP Oil Spill Compensation Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sports Popular Culture NFL Front Page Stories Front Page football Florida Featured Story Featured Post Deepwater Horizon Culture Courts BP Oil Spill

By Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia Commons

 

You draw up a play and expect it to be executed perfectly to lead to a big score. You cannot always anticipate when the officials will step in and state that your plan violates the rules. One NFL team is currently going through this scenario, and it has nothing to do with football.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down the decision that upholds a prior finding that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would not qualify for compensation from the payout from the BP oil spill that occurred in 2010. The team had applied for a payout from the Deepwater Horizon settlement program that the oil conglomerate set up to repay any damages people and businesses may have incurred as a result of the disaster. The AP breezes over the reasons behind this judgment and the accounting tricks the team attempted in order to get a significant payout.

The oil spill affected roughly 1,000 miles of the U.S. coastline, and the company made efforts to avoid lengthy and countless lawsuits by setting up the compensation program. Those closest in proximity to the spill were granted priority status, and then those in the widening zones given more strict analysis. Tampa, situated some 350 miles or so from the spill site, is considered to be in one of the furthest qualifying areas, and as a result any claims from there would need to meet what was dubbed a “causation test”.

A business entity from these outlying regions would have to submit paperwork showing the way its commerce was economically impacted immediately after the spill, and the recovery it experienced one year later. This impact/recovery chart would need to show the downturn on the graph — a “V-Test” — that displayed a minimum 10% variance from 2010 to 2011 to qualify for compensation.

If you are wondering how an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico affected an NFL franchise you are thinking the same as the settlement program’s accountants. The Buccaneers applied for $19.5 million in compensation, and the way they showed their economic suffering produced all manner of yellow flags to be tossed. The first issue is the paperwork submitted to show the hardships did not cover the parts of the calendar when football was being played.

The period of time the Bucs franchise used to illustrate its supposed loss was in May-July of the summer of 2010 and 2011. Revenue could not have been depleted as a result of fewer fans in attendance, or some other environmental issues that may have affected money streams connected to gameplay. Instead it was discovered the franchise attempted to show an economic downturn via selective accounting tactics.

At issue was the recording of income the team received via the NFL Ventures payout. This is the revenue-sharing plan that all the teams receive, based on the profits derived by the League each season from television contracts, licensing deals, advertising, and all manner of income. This income has little-to-nothing to do with the oil spill.

Accountants for the BP compensation program asked the team to explain the variance in the way it recorded its payment from the Ventures division. In 2010 the Buccaneers recorded receiving money from this payout plan in January, and then later in the August segment. In 2011 in showed its Ventures payment in May-July. This obviously would show a greater sum in that period during the subsequent year.

The team was not surprisingly denied the claim. Officials from the Buccaneers explained the League had directed them to record their profit payment in that quarter due to an impending labor dispute with players in 2011. They could not provide documentation to back up this claim. It also could not show how this in any way had anything at all to do with the Deepwater Horizon issue.

Executives from the franchise took their case to court, and it was initially denied. The 5th Circuit appellate court not only upheld the prior decision, but it also laid out the reason why, in direct fashion:

Westlake Legal Group Bucs-Court-620x524 Courts Throw Penalty Flag and Deny NFL Team Attempt to Scam Millions From BP Oil Spill Compensation Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sports Popular Culture NFL Front Page Stories Front Page football Florida Featured Story Featured Post Deepwater Horizon Culture Courts BP Oil Spill

 

The use of the term “Unjustified departure” in this passage could quite easily be interpreted as “It seems obvious you were cooking the books.”

While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers should have felt shame over this brazen attempt to game the payout program the organization clearly held no such feeling. Two vain court attempts show this to be true. That officials went under the hood to review their gadget play and overturned the result illustrates the way they tried to rig the game.

The post Courts Throw Penalty Flag and Deny NFL Team Attempt to Scam Millions From BP Oil Spill Compensation appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Penalty-flag-300x164 Courts Throw Penalty Flag and Deny NFL Team Attempt to Scam Millions From BP Oil Spill Compensation Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sports Popular Culture NFL Front Page Stories Front Page football Florida Featured Story Featured Post Deepwater Horizon Culture Courts BP Oil Spill   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com